John Armstrong

John Armstrong is the Herald's chief political commentator

Act Party ramps up efforts in Epsom

Act Party leader John Banks. Photo / Dean Purcell
Act Party leader John Banks. Photo / Dean Purcell

Epsom voters are likely to be targeted by a combined scare campaign and charm offensive from Act as the party ratchets up its efforts to hold the seat.

Act is putting even more emphasis on National's need for a reliable coalition partner to persuade local voters to allow it to keep its toehold in Parliament despite its basement-level support in nationwide polls..

Act's new president, John Boscawen told the party's weekend conference that if Act was not back in 2014 in even bigger numbers, National woulds be dependent on either the Maori Party or NZ First "or worse still, both of them".

"The people of Epsom have huge power and have used it very wisely."

Mr Boscawen said that as president he would go out and about with John Banks every week on to the streets of Epsom, into the shops and on to the doorsteps, and constantly remind Epsom voters of how crucial their vote was in securing a further three years of National government.

In his leader's address, Mr Banks said the choice of prime minister in 2014 would likely depend on Act and the people of Epsom.

"Never in my lifetime has the Opposition been less ready to govern. Never has the opportunity to keep nudging the National Party toward our values been more important. Nor has the risk been greater that MMP will deliver us Russel Norman and his printing press".

- NZ Herald

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